How Seasoned Pharmacists Can Help Recent Grads Get Hired


Although the US job market is improving, recent pharmacy school grads are struggling to get hired.

Although the US job market is improving, recent pharmacy school graduates are still struggling to get hired.

Pharmacists who entered the pharmacy job market in the 1970s may remember sign-on bonuses, having their school loans paid off after a 2-year stint, and even being given a car, albeit a compact. It wasn’t too long ago that receiving 5 job offers or getting hired without an interview was the norm.

As a result, seasoned pharmacists might not give the plight of the jobless new graduate much though. Until recently, few veteran pharmacists had been in the new grad’s shoes of being unemployed for months after graduation.

But with cutbacks and layoffs among peers in the industry, many pharmacists are seeing a cloud hanging over their head that could downpour on their employment status at any moment. At the same time, new pharmacy school graduates need all the help they can get in establishing themselves.

Any assistance with their job search would be welcoming. Here is how the seasoned pharmacist can help.

Reach out.

When rejection letters are piling up, a phone call or e-mail can be a confidence booster.

Seek out the pharmacy student who did a rotation at your workplace or your sister-in-law’s newly licensed nephew. Keep them focused on future job opportunities, rather than current rejections.

Do not draw attention to your own job-seeking experiences, good or bad. Listening to their fears and frustrations is better than giving halfhearted advice.

Share your network.

For the first-time job seeker, networking takes both experience and courage.

Ask the recent grad for their resume or contact information, and then share it with others in your network. Invite the new grad to a professional meeting and make it a point to introduce and engage them in conversation with your colleagues.

Share this strategy with the applicant ahead of time so they can be prepared with business cards and conversation promoting their accomplishments and professional aspirations. If they are doing independent door knocking with some pharmacists you know, volunteer to make the initial introduction for them by giving your colleague a call.

Endorse their skills.

If you served as a new graduate’s preceptor, mentor, or co-worker and were impressed with their performance and work ethic, let them know that you are willing to write a favorable reference letter for them.

Complete the paperwork in a timely manner, as a courtesy to both the job applicant and the company to which they are applying. Offer to endorse them on their LinkedIn profile or other social media account, but first confirm that this gesture does not conflict with your workplace’s policies.

Set boundaries.

If job seekers are making too many requests from you for their job search, speak up.

Let them know how much you can actually help them and what they need to do in order to be accountable in their job search process. Be sensitive to their unemployment status, continue to listen, and encourage them to move forward with their search.

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